Monday, April 13, 2009

One Minute, One Speedlite, One Group of Tomorrow's Brains

I saw some posts today on Strobist and on Joe McNally's Blog in regards to a group shot that the awesome Zack Arias of Atlanta made, and it brought to mind a group pic I shot a couple of weeks ago using the same technique... basically one speedlight, multiple exposures, and a late night's worth of photoshop.

These are some of the students of CUICAR, Clemson University's International Center for Automotive Research, and one of ICAR's Research Associates (Frank Webb - in the lab coat). These are the very folks who will be inventing tomorrow's automobiles. The image was created for the opening spread of a story that G Magazine is publishing in their next issue (it's going to the presses today... I hope I don't get in trouble for jumping the gun, but I wanted to jump on the same bandwagon as those posts mentioned above).

I usually would have a made quick time-lapse of the whole shoot using my G9, but it was drizzling and cold that night so I skipped it... big mistake... would have been cool.

This shot was fairly easy, but could not have been done easily without my buddy Paul Mehaffey and his lovely intern Sally Morris. First of all, the concept is about contrasting tomorrow's automotive brains against yesterday's technology... hence the junkyard... besides which junkyards are cool!

- Paul walked around with a Speedlite 580 EXII on a boom (folded lightstand) with a shoot-thru umbrella. The Speedlite was set to 1/2 power, jelled with 3 layers of 1/4 CTO, and connected to a Pocketwizard. I set the white-balance to 5400 to partially neutralize the CTO and turn the ambient even bluer.

- I stood on top of a busted up Isuzu Trooper with my Canon 5D on a tripod, ISO 200, F8 @ 1/2 sec. The lens was a 70-200mm set at 100mm.

- We shot a few different rounds as the light got darker and darker. Each individual was illuminated separately. The trick was getting everyone lit within about a minute, because after the sun goes down things get dark quickly and I wanted to make sure the ambient matched when I merged everything together in Photoshop later.

You can see Paul and Sally in the example frame below... A big THANKS to them, to Johnny at Adams Auto Parts, Gnatt's Uniform Outlet for the lab coat, to the folks who showed up to be photographed, and to G Magazine for letting me push things.

I'll have a series of portraits from CUICAR that I will be posting soon... stay tuned.

Subjects, from left to right: Tamer Yanni, Evan Lowe, Shayne McConomy, Frank Richardson, Frank Webb, Sina Hamsehlouia, and Satyam Vyas.

No comments: